July 26, 2016

affiliates in the news: july/august 2016 edition

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
DuSable Gala honors rising stars and history-makers
Harold Closter, director of Smithsonian affiliations, presented Irmer with a certificate recognizing the DuSable’s official status as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. “Dr. Margaret Burroughs was a visionary who built this museum from scratch and recognized the need to build a museum from within the community for the community,” Closter said.

Orange County Regional History Center (Orlando, FL)
Preserving love and sorrow: The History Center collects Pulse tributes
Perkins said he conferred last week with curators at the Smithsonian in Washington about the challenge of keeping the keepsakes. But now is still “far too soon” for the history center’s executive director to envision a permanent exhibit of the June 12 tragedy that killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others inside the nightclub which served as a gathering place in Orlando for the LGBTQ community, he said.

Efforts underway to preserve memorial for Pulse shooting victims at Dr. Phillips Center
“It is our mission to make sure the  community’s response is not forgotten and is memorialized in its own way for future generations,” said Michael Perkins, manager of the Orange County Regional History Center. Employees from the history center will begin the preservation process. The plan is to save items left in honor of the victims. Teams will box everything up and document each detail.

Museum of Design Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Art review: User-centric design focus of inspiring MODA show
Not only considering the needs of the user, “Beautiful Users,” which originated at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, also looks at how users have “hacked” existing products. It’s one of the most entertaining, and also inspiring, segments of the show because their inventions show the ingenuity of ordinary people in adapting design to fit their needs.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (Scottsdale, AZ) (Affiliate to Affiliate loan)
Historic ‘Lone Wolf’ exhibition opens at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
“This wonderful exhibition is made possible through the support of numerous institutions and private collectors who contributed in various ways, including the Museum of the Plains Indian and Crafts Center, the Montana Historical Society, the Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Adelante Foundation, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Butterfly Lodge Museum.”

Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)
Small Arab-American Museum Attracts Diverse Visitors
The museum has garnered unusual national attention for a facility of its size winning accrediation from the American Alliance of Museums in record time and being picked as one of 210 Smithsonian Institution affiliate museums, meaning the two organizations share artifacts, exhibits, and educational programming.

Arab-American museum steps into second decade
AANM has become a key cultural player in Metro Detroit,  won coveted recognition from the Smithsonian Institution, and — perhaps most significant, given its mission — succeeded in attracting half its 2015 attendance of 52,189 from outside the Arab community.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX)
Research on massive vertebrae sheds new light on Alamosaurus sanjuanensis
“The paper is just the culmination of almost two decades of hard work and incredible collaboration and partnerships between so many agencies and institutions,” said Tykoski. “From people at UT-D, Big Bend National Park, Bell Helicopter, the Smithsonian Institution, the Vertebrate Paleontology Lab at UT-Austin, the dedicated staff and volunteers at the Perot Museum, and other paleontologists who offered advice and insight about these animals, so many people contributed to getting the science done and the information out there for the world to see.”

Historic Annapolis (Annapolis, MD)
Historic Annapolis partners with Smithsonian
Smithsonian Affiliations “admires” Historic Annapolis for its work to preserve the structures and stories of Annapolis, Closter said. The city has important history, he said, and it can dissipate if people aren’t taking care of it. “We complement each other,” Closter said. “We tell a national story and they tell a local story, but there’s so many places where we intersect.”

Historic Annapolis partners with Smithsonian
The Annapolis nonprofit is now a part of the Smithsonian Affiliations program and will have the opportunity to borrow items from the Smithsonian museums, as well as organize educational collaborations and traveling exhibitions, said Carrie Kiewitt, spokeswoman for Historic Annapolis. The organization is one of six affiliates in Maryland and one of 200 in the country.

Mennello Museum of Art (Orlando, FL)
Pop Art Prints from the Smithsonian pack a serious punch at the Mennello
There will also be the Family Days the Mennello is known for, with kids’ activities involving Lichtenstein’s dots and a “Make Your Own Warhol” event. But, Fitzgerald says, “I want more things for adults to do. We need to connect what’s going on in here with the outside world.” Pop Art Prints seems like the ideal show for the Mennello to bridge the gap between kids and adults, between folk and fine art.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Shaler Area teacher helps to test Smithsonian online lab for schools
Gray was one of 33 middle school teachers in 15 Allegheny County schools to test out the new Smithsonian Learning Lab over the last school year, Naranjo said. The opportunity was made available through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and Heinz History Center thanks to a grant from the Grable Foundation.

Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, ID)
Smithsonian water exhibit traveling through Idaho
Idaho Humanities Council Director Rick Ardinger believes the latest Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit to grace the state is especially timely, given the Legislature’s recent commitments to maintaining a stable water supply… The exhibit will be displayed in six Idaho cities, moving to the Sun Valley Museum of History in Ketchum from July 16 through Aug. 28, to the Idaho Museum of Natural History in Pocatello from Sept. 3 through Oct. 16…

Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO)
Denver Art Museum to display original ‘Star Wars’ costumes
‘Star Wars’ fans are in for a treat served up by the Denver Art Museum this November, 2016. The ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’ exhibit begins Nov. 13, 2016. Fans will get the chance to listen to the music of John Williams while they tour through a display of over 60 original costumes from all seven of the films. Get those phones and cameras ready as attendees will get to meet and take photos with ‘Star Wars’ characters. The costumes of ‘Star Wars’ are not only pop culture, they are a part of most people’s lives. Most any person can be shown a costume and they can instantly identify the character by the brilliance in the design.

High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA)
Walker Evans Wrote the Story of America With His Camera
Evans, who was born in 1903 in St. Louis and died 72 years later, is the subject of a long-overdue traveling exhibition of 120 pictures—a relatively small sample of his remarkable life’s work—organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (a Smithsonian Affiliate), the Josef Albers Museum Quadrat in Bottrop, Germany, and the Vancouver Art Galley. The show will be in Atlanta from June 11 until September 11.

Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle (Doylestown, PA)
Mercer Museum in Doylestown now Smithsonian affiliate
This year, as the Doylestown museum celebrates its centennial anniversary, it has another honor to fete. Last month, museum officials announced that it was named a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, along with its sister site, Fonthill Castle, Henry Mercer’s former home. The designation makes them two of 210 affiliates in the country and forges a relationship with the Smithsonian that allows the institutions to share knowledge, artifacts, and exhibitions.

2 Bucks County Museums Named Smithsonian Affiliates
Two Bucks County institutions have been named affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution, giving them a wider cache of collections and artifacts, exhibitions, research and educational collaborations.

California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA), National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH), DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
12 Incredible Black History Museums Everyone Should Visit

Bakken Museum (Minneapolis, MN)
Bakken Museum is first in Minnesota to be a Smithsonian Affiliate
The Bakken Museum has been named a Smithsonian Affiliate which means it will share research, collaborate on exhibitions, and borrow items from the Smithsonian’s 136 million piece collection. It’s the first Smithsonian Affiliate in Minnesota, but one of more than 200 in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama.

Minneapolis’ Bakken Museum is first Minnesota affiliate of Smithsonian
The affiliation means a long-term partnership between the Bakken and Smithsonian Institution with opportunities to collaborate on projects.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Honolulu, HI)
Lessons Learned from History
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii held a regional youth summit May 17 at the museum on the topic of Japanese American incarceration during World War II.  The program engaged young people in a conversation about the nation’s past and its lessons for today, and was sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in collaboration with affiliated museums.

Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, MO)
Science Center now a Smithsonian Affiliate
“We are very pleased to join the ranks of some very distinguished organizations and institutions across the country,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of the Saint Louis Science Center. “Having the opportunity to share Smithsonian artifacts, including space capsules, aircraft and rare minerals with our visitors will help to spark interest and excitement in science and the important role it plays in our lives.”

Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME)
Abbe Museum’s new exhibition tells difficult Native American stories
“It means not following the standard narrative of how the country was settled and bringing in broader perspectives and multiple points of view,” said Harold Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations, which encourages partnerships among museums and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. “It means recognizing there were people here and those people are still here and they are part of the fabric of our history and our national culture.”

Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, SC)
Museum explores political campaigns
“We always do try to link the national traveling exhibit with something local,” says Elizabeth Gunter, the museum’s director of programs and marketing. “As part of that exhibit, we are getting objects on loan from the Strom Thurmond Institute, Clemson’s special collection. … In addition to Clemson, we’re also getting objects on loan from the Smithsonian, we’re getting objects from the National Portrait Gallery.”

March 28, 2016

Affiliates in the news: April edition

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts (Alta Loma, CA)
Jimmy Carter on Sam Maloof: ‘He was the best woodworker that ever lived’ (VIDEO)

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
SD Food Heritage Is Theme For Annual History Conference
Friday’s keynote speaker is Susan Evans McClure, director of Smithsonian Food History Programs at the National Museum of American History, discussing “Food at the Nation’s History Museum.” McClure oversees the creation, planning and production of programs that explore the complexity of American history through our experiences with food and agriculture.

Museum of American Finance (New York, NY)151119_1750_barnett
Gold Starring at Museum of American Finance
It’s only fitting that the Museum of American Finance (MOAF), an affiliate of the Smithsonian Museum system located in New York City, would turn its attention to gold.

DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL)
DuSable Museum partners with the Smithsonian

Chicago’s DuSable Museum granted Smithsonian Affiliation
The museum, established in 1961, becomes the second cultural institution in Chicago to be granted the prestigious affiliation (the Adler Planetarium is the other).

The DuSable Museum of African American History Obtains Smithsonian Affiliation Status
“With Affiliate status, the DuSable will bring the Smithsonian to the community and the DuSable to the world,” said DuSable President and CEO Perri Irmer. “The partnership will also expose the museum’s Masterworks Collection to a broader audience by giving the work and the artists international exposure.”

Pinhead Institute (Telluride, CO)
Museum Day Live! at Pinhead
“I want them to see how much they can learn from it,” she said. “They are in control of their future. … Kids can come alive and realize they can accomplish something.” Free Museum Day Live! is funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant through the Smithsonian. Holbrooke said it’s the first time Pinhead has participated in Museum Day Live!

The Witte Museum (San Antonio, TX)
VIDEO- Witte Museum exhibit explores how horses transformed Texas

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Museum of Design Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Astrophotography Afterschool Program
MODA is excited to be joining the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics program, Youth Capturing the Colorful Cosmos, to bring astrophysics and scientific visualization skills to young astronomers. Students will have access to telescopes and images as they design their own experiments.

The Rockwell Museum (Corning, NY)
Storytellers aid Rockwell’s outreach to women of color
The museum will join hundreds of other cultural institutions across the country as the Smithsonian celebrates a nationwide campaign to reach women and girls in underserved communities.

clippings2Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, ID)
Largest snake in the world comes to ISU (VIDEO)
“We couldn’t be more happy to finally bring this snake to Idaho,” said Leif Tapanila, the museum director.

Replica of world’s largest snake at ISU
The IMNH hosted family friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to coincide with the opening of the new exhibit “Titanoboa: Monster Snake,” a Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service exhibit.

World’s largest snake slithers into East Idaho
The exhibit also includes 3D animation of Titanoboa created by the Idaho Virtualization Lab (IVL). In addition, guests will get the opportunity to handle a 3D printed Titanoboa backbone and compare it to the backbone of a Green anaconda, the heaviest snake species alive today.

Largest snake in history to open at Idaho Museum of Natural History
On March 19, the IMNH will host family friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to coincide with the opening of the new exhibit “Titanoboa: Monster Snake,” a Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service exhibit. Activities will include bubble snakes, snake mobiles, sleeping bag snake races and cold blooded activities. Activities are free in the museum’s Discovery Room, while Titanoboa can be seen in the gallery with payment of admission.

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamagordo, NM)
NASA’s First Female Hispanic Flight Director, El Paso Native, to Speak at Museum
For Museum Day LIVE!, the museum will present a speaker series featuring women in STEM careers. Headlining the series will be Ginger Kerrick, a native of El Paso, graduate of Hanks High School and Texas Tech where she holds a Masters degree in physics. Kerrick began working for NASA as an intern in 1991 and in 2005 became  NASA’s first Hispanic female flight director.

The TechGYRLS at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

The TechGYRLS at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, TN/VA)
Birthplace of Country Music Museum Hosts Museum Day Live! March 12
“This partnership is a great way to share the museum with young girls in our local community and to give them the opportunity to really experience the radio station – and get a chance to make their voices heard!” says Rodgers. “It’s been wonderful to watch the TechGyrls develop their own program, one that we feel will inspire other girls too.”

Museum Center at 5ive Points (Cleveland, TN)
Cleveland’s Museum Center searching for new director
The Museum Center at Five Points will lose Hassan Najjar as its executive director today after a three-year tenure that has been credited with revitalizing the museum’s mission and lifeblood.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Toy exhibition at Heinz History Center offers fun and nostalgia
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History has loaned two items: a 1950s-era Mr. Potato Head and a Digi-Comp 1, an early mechanical computer.

Mr. Potato Head and Friends on display at "Toys of the '50's, '60's and 70's," at the Heinz History Center.

Mr. Potato Head and Friends on display at “Toys of the ’50’s, ’60’s and 70’s,” at the Heinz History Center.

Museum Center at 5ive Points (Cleveland, TN)
Hassan Najjar resigns museum position
Najjar point outs that his was not a one-man-show. “Our remarkable staff and board of trustees deserve so much credit,” says Najjar. “We’ve set out on some pretty large projects in these past three years, and our team continued to work hard to realize each of them. This group of individuals fueled our success and I’m thankful for each of them.”

New Mexico Museum of Space History (Alamogordo, NM)
New Mexico Museum of Space History Celebrates 40 Years
The museum is celebrating its 40th anniversary with several signature events beginning onMarch 1. In recognition of the museum becoming a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2013, Governor Susana Martinez declared March 1 as “New Mexico Museum of Space History Day” and made it a free day at the museum for New Mexico residents. As part of the museum’s 40thAnniversary Celebration, the Tombaugh Theater will be offering “buy one, get one free” tickets all day.

Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA)
Museum of Latin American Art celebrates 20-year history
“It’s a great moment for the museum and for the community,” said Stuart Ashman, president and CEO of MOLAA. “ Some people don’t realize this museum has been here for 20 years and don’t recognize the importance of this museum.”

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
Agua Caliente Native FilmFest to be a free for all
The Native FilmFest has never been about ticket sales, says Agua Caliente Cultural Museum executive director Michael Hammond. It’s a tribal educational program. And now, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, the tribe isn’t going to make people pay for that education. Two Agua Caliente Cultural Museum board members have agreed to underwrite unlimited ticket sales to all six days of the festival starting Tuesday at the Camelot Theatres.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum Brings Back Native FilmFest
Now in its fifteenth season, Native FilmFest presented by Agua Caliente Cultural Museum Tuesday, March 1 through Sunday, March 6 is one of the most highly regarded festivals of its kind ̶ showcasing the best in films by, about, and starring Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples. Guest Programmer Elizabeth Weatherford is Director and Founder of the Film and Video Center at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Guest Programmer Elizabeth Weatherford & Executive Director Michael Hammond Ph.D.

Guest Programmer Elizabeth Weatherford & Executive Director Michael Hammond Ph.D.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (Scottsdale, AZ)
Jewel of the Valley

Western Spirit: Scottdale’s Museum of the West rises as a top museum in the country
“They have a very strong commitment to education and they want to show the West in its great variety and diversity,” said Harold Closter, director of the Smithsonian Affiliations, part of the Smithsonian Institution. “This is just a wonderful museum. You can feel it as soon as you walk in the door.”

February 22, 2016

what’s up in Affiliateland in March 2016

CONNECTICUT
Roger Connor, Curator at the National Air and Space Museum, will present a talk on “By the Stars to Victory: Making Aerial Celestial Navigation Practical Between the World Wars” as part of the Stars of the Smithsonian lecture series at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, 3.3.

PENNSYLVANIA
The traveling exhibition Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s opens at the Heinz History Center with two artifact loans from the National Museum of American History – a toy computer from 1965 and a vintage Mr. Potato Head, in Pittsburgh, 3.4.

NATIONWIDE
Over 40 Affiliates nationwide will take place in the special edition of Museum Day Live!, offering free admission and special programming on 3.12.

Carla Dove, Program Manager at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology

Carla Dove, Program Manager at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology

NORTH CAROLINA
Carla Dove, forensic ornithologist at the National Museum of Natural History, will explain to visitors her job in identifying what types of birds collide with airplanes, and how that helps to make aviation a safer industry at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte, 3.12.

NEW MEXICO
Jeffrey Post, Curator at the National Museum of Natural History, will present a talk on the American gemstone jewelry collection at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque, 3.15.

IDAHO
The Idaho Museum of Natural History opens SITES Titanoboa: Monster Snake exhibition in Pocatello, 3.19.

Briana Pobiner of the National Museum of Natural History holds a hominid skull.

Briana Pobiner of the National Museum of Natural History holds a hominid skull.

MASSACHUSETTS
Dr. Briana Pobiner, educator at the National Museum of Natural History, will present a talk on “Ancient Appetites: What Our Ancestors Really Ate and How We Know” at Framingham State University in Framingham, 3.21.

Affiliates in the news: March edition

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  If you have a clipping that highlights a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate, or a clipping that demonstrates leadership in education, innovation, and arts/culture/history/science you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

A Boa constrictor skull is scaled up to the same size as Titanoboa and compared to a human skeleton using 3-D tech in the IVL. Render courtesy of Jesse Pruitt.

A Boa constrictor skull is scaled up to the same size as Titanoboa and compared to a human skeleton using 3-D tech in the IVL. Render courtesy of Jesse Pruitt.

Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, ID)
Idaho Museum of Natural History uses 3-D technology to bring Titanoboa monster snake to life
“Having the opportunity for something I made to go along with something the Smithsonian created is personally very cool,” Schlader said. “Not to mention the fact that the University of Florida made the scans of the fossil available so we can print it and actually hold a copy of a piece of this snake is just amazing.”

The Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA) and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor (Ford Island, HI)
12 Museums for the Aviation Enthusiast

Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington, DE)
Hagley Now Has World’s Largest Private Collection of Patent Models
The Rothschild Patent Model Collection of 4,101 one-of-a-kind models — going alphabetically from an adjustable pillow sham to a wrestling toy — builds upon 849 patent models already at Hagley and the early innovations and patents from the DuPont Company.

Space Center Houston (Houston, TX)
Space Center Houston Drives Greater Houston Economy With More Jobs
“The museum plays a vital role in the region by bringing tourism dollars and stimulating the workforce,” said the center’s President and CEO Richard E. Allen Jr. “Globally, it is inspiring creativity and innovation in people from all over the world. With our hands-on educational programs, we’re exciting young minds and inspiring them to think about a possible future career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Photo courtesy Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum.

Photo courtesy Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum.

Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum (Miami, FL)
Remember ‘Pac-Man’? Museum exhibit has fun with classic video games
Video games have scored their way into one South Florida art museum. Atari, PlayStation and other home systems are the main players of “The Art of Video Games” exhibit at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum Florida International University in Miami.

‘Art of Video Games’ on exhibit now at the Frost Art Museum
One take-away Rodriguez hopes students visiting the exhibit will go home with is that the museum is a fun, exciting place that asks a question: what is the role of art in your life?

FROST ART MUSEUM PRESENTS THE ULTIMATE MAN-CAVE EXPERIENCE: “THE ART OF VIDEO GAMES” EXHIBITION
On March 16, 2012, “The Art of Video Games” opened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibition is Melissinos’ homage to the world of Marios and Sonics. For the past three years, “The Art of Video Games” has been on a cross-country adventure visiting various museums. The final stop of the tour is Miami’s Frost Art Museum.

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU opens “The Art of Video Games”
The Art of Video Games is one of the first major exhibitions to explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking graphics, creative storytelling and player interactivity.

Smithsonian’s Video Game Exhibit Opens in Miami
Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibit and revolves around the 40-year evolution of video games, and their art expression.

The Art of Video Games” National Tour’s Final Stop in Miami
By teaming up with Florida International University’s Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum for The Art of Video Games exhibition as Presenting Sponsors, we have another great opportunity to be active in the community that is at the heart of Alienware,” said Frank Azor, General Manager of Alienware. “It was almost 20 years ago that Alienware started in Miami and even though we’ve evolved to a global community of gamers it’s great to have this incredible exhibit conclude in the South Florida community that’s been so instrumental in our success.”

A view of Above and Beyond, the new exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center. Photo by Oscar Williams.

A view of Above and Beyond, the new exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center. Photo by Oscar Williams.

Saint Louis Science Center (Saint Louis, MO)
Saint Louis Science Center unveils new exhibit
 “Above and Beyond” is produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with Boeing, in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and in educational collaboration with The Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Antique Automobile Club of America (Hershey, PA)
Pioneers in African American Automotive History at the AACA Museum
While learning the history, visitors can take the opportunity to assemble their own paper traffic signals, patented by Garrett Morgan, courtesy of the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Challenger Space Center Arizona (Peoria)
Challenger disaster: 30 years later
Inspired by and named for the lost shuttle, the Challenger Space Center in Peoria opened in July 2000. Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and the Challenger Learning Centers, it was the first stand-alone facility not only in Arizona, but in the entire Southwest.

 

October 29, 2014

affiliates in the news- November 2014

Congrats to these Affiliates making news! Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines.  If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Poverty Point State Historic Site (West Carroll, Louisiana)
Poverty Point to celebrate World Heritage Site designation Saturday
According to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Poverty Point is the 22nd World Heritage Site in the United States. Dardenne’s office states that Poverty Point was the U.S. Department of the Interior’s lone nomination for world heritage status-adding to the site’s accolades as a National Historic Landmark, National Monument and Smithsonian Affiliate. 

George Catlin, Buffalo Chase, Bulls Making Battle with Men and Horses. 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

George Catlin, Buffalo Chase, Bulls Making Battle with Men and Horses. 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

Mennello Museum of Art (Orlando, Florida)
Mennello Museum opens final exhibits in 15th-anniversary season
The Mennello Museum of American Art is wrapping up its 15th-anniversary year with two exhibitions that opened Oct. 3…The two new exhibitions are “George Catlin’s American Buffalo,” on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and “The Taos Society of Artists,” an original exhibition curated by museum executive director Frank Holt. The exhibitions run through Jan. 4, 2015.

The Majesty of the Buffalo, Captured on Canvas [16 Images]
In Great Falls, the exhibit was received enthusiastically, and the museum saw an uptick in attendance. “We’re delighted to have this quality of an exhibition from the Smithsonian,” Burt said, adding that the scenes provided Native Americans with “a great opportunity” for insight into their ancestors’ lifeways and the scenery of the plains.

space-center-houston-smithsonianSpace Center Houston (Houston, Texas)
Space Center Houston is 1st Smithsonian Affiliate in Houston
Space Center Houston is now a member of the Smithsonian’s crew. Space Center Houston, which serves as the official visitor center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas, is officially the first museum in Houston to be named a Smithsonian Affiliate.

Another giant leap for Space Center Houston
In a giant leap toward preserving the history of space exploration, Space Center Houston became the city’s first Smithsonian Affiliate on Oct. 8

Witte Museum (San Antonio, Texas)
Witte Museum announces Smithsonian partnership
We purposely waited to become a Smithsonian Affiliate because we’re in a great transformation right now at the museum and we thought it would be the perfect way to say we’re a top-tier museum,” said Marise McDermott, Witte Museum president and CEO.

Witte now a Smithsonian affiliate
The Witte Museum is now a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. As a member of the program, the Witte will be able to borrow objects from the Smithsonian’s permanent collection and tap into its resources. “It’s such a great time for the Witte to have an affiliation,” said Marise McDermott, president and CEO of the Witte, who will announce the affiliation at a news conference this morning. “Before we were so focused on growing our campus, and now we’re ready to integrate with a national museum.”

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Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
Smithsonian Leaders Hail Berkshire Museum SparkLab Partnership
“We think that real innovation will happen in this space,” according to Claudine Brown, Assistant Secretary of Education & Access at the Smithsonian. “Every SparkLab is different, and this one is architecturally beautiful.”

Spark!Lab is hands-on science at Berkshire Museum
Berkshire Museum Executive Director Van Shields said, while tinkering on his own Snap Circuits project, that Spark!Lab will “stimulate the kind of creativity and innovative thinking that was the beginning of the journey” of bringing the museum into the 21st century.

biomuseoThe Biomuseo (Panama)
Biomuseo Showcases Panama’s Ecological Diversity
Panama, the Biomuseo proclaims, became a “bridge of life” (the title of its permanent exhibition) and a fountain of biodiversity. Just a bit bigger than Ireland, it has more species of birds, amphibians and animals (if insects are included) than the United States and Canada combined, according to George R. Angehr, a research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. (The Biomuseo is an affiliate of the Smithsonian, which along with the University of Panama helped develop its scientific content.)

Wondrous or hideous? Frank Gehry-designed natural history museum opens to fanfare in Panama
A natural history museum designed by famed architect Frank Gehry opened in Panama City this week. The Biomuseo — a project first conceived nearly 15 years ago and hampered by all kinds of issues — welcomed in the public for the first time Thursday.

Idaho Museum of Natural History (Pocatello, Idaho)
Asian Pacific American History exhibit on display at IMNH
Asian and Pacific Americans make up more than five percent of the U.S. population—more than 17 million people—and those numbers are growing. Their ancestral roots represent more than 50 percent of the world, extending from East Asia to Southeast Asia, and from South Asia to the Pacific Islands and Polynesia. In commemoration of this important history, “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story” opened at the Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH), on September 20 and will run through November 30. “I Want the Wide American Earth” was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The exhibition is supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Smithsonian exhibit heads to local museum
“It’s pretty exciting because we are a Smithsonian-affiliated museum…and we only get it for ten weeks so it’s here before it heads-off to California, so unless you are planning on traveling to California, you won’t get to see it,” Tews said.

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August 29, 2014

where the buffalo roam

On Saturday, August 30, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo will bring back the American bison in a new exhibit and habitat.  Zora and Wilma are not only beautiful animals, but they also serve as an important reminder about conservation and the Zoo’s inception. In 1887, American bison wandered the National Mall, helping to bring awareness to the endangerment of the species. Two years later, Congress passed legislation to found the National Zoo, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

Bison roam around the Smithsonian Castle

Bison roam around the Smithsonian Castle, 1887-89

At Affiliations, we are wallowing in the excitement of welcoming these magnificent animals to Washington. So we decided to scan our herd of partners, to see where else the mighty American bison are roaming among Affiliate plains. We found a virtual stampede of bison content in Affiliateland!

– It seems appropriate to start in Wyoming, at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. After all, it was “Buffalo Bill” Cody who offered the Smithsonian a herd of 18 bison in 1888. Painfully, the gift had to be refused for lack of space on the National Mall.  But today, you can find plenty of bison material at the Buffalo Bill Center in Cody. The Center’s museums house an impressive collection of art depicting “Nature’s Cattle,” including beautiful Audubon prints as well as Native artifacts made from the bison, and natural history specimens.

"Scout" at the Durham Museum in Omaha.

“Scout” at the Durham Museum in Omaha

– It was a Nebraska rancher who donated the very first bison to the Smithsonian’s collection, so it seems natural to travel on to Omaha to visit “Scout,” the beloved bison on view at the Durham Museum. At 7 ½’ high and 10’ long, this magnificent specimen helps to tell the important story of the Midwest’s history with the bison. As part of their bison interpretation, the Durham Museum uses the online resource Tracking the Buffalo from the National Museum of American History. Go ahead – take the site’s interactive test to guess what you could make from all the parts of the animal.

–  Some bison though, were revered beyond all that they could provide for Native people. A white bison is extremely rare, appearing once in approximately five million births. For this reason, these animals are considered sacred and possess great spiritual power to Native and non-Native people alike. Given this extreme rarity, where could you ever see one now?! The Montana Historical Society in Helena displays “Big Medicine,” a white buffalo who died in 1959. With blue eyes, tan hooves, and a brown topknot, there’s still plenty of reasons to revere the beauty of this extraordinary specimen today.

"White Medicine" on view at the Montana Historical Society

“Big Medicine” on view at the Montana Historical Society

– As rare as Big Medicine is, perhaps no bison has the hometown spirit of “On the Wind,” the massive bronze bison who greets visitors to the History Colorado Center in Denver. He’s been seen wearing bandannas when the stock show comes to town, a Broncos jersey during football season, and even a bike helmet during the recent Pro Challenge cycling race through the state. He’s also an important reminder of the stories told inside the Center about the historic relationship between bison and the peoples of the West.

– To travel even further back in time, check out the archeological remains of a gigantic Ice Age bison at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Excavated from the Colorado Rockies, this iconic specimen and its neighbors represent one of the most significant fossil discoveries ever made in Colorado.  How gigantic was it?  Twice the size of a modern bison!  How do we know?  It had a horn spread more than 7’ wide (compared with the 2 ½’ spread of the modern buffalo).

HistoryCObison

“On the Wind” in Denver reflects the community

– If you’re finding it hard to imagine the size of a modern bison without actually seeing one, the South Dakota State Historical Society can help you out.  They’ve devised a fun 30-page coloring sheet called How Big is a Buffalo. Bison make quite an appearance in the Society’s education kits, which include objects, lesson plans, worksheets and ideas for additional activities. The Buffalo and Plains Indians, Lewis and Clark, and Archeology kits are just a few that explore all facets of this great American species.

– Lest you think the Affiliate bison only roam west of the Mississippi, think again.  The Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Connecticut is currently displaying The Bison: American Icon exhibition, which explores “the dramatic changes that occurred to the bison and its habitat, and to the people who depended on it for their daily existence.” At the end of September, the Museum invites visitors to take the Bison Challenge – an outdoor activity that will test your speed, strength, and senses against the performance of a bison.  Good luck!

Bison: American Icon exhibit on view at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum

The Bison: American Icon exhibit on view at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum

As the song goes, “oh give me a home… “  It’s gratifying to see how many Affiliate “homes” across America celebrate the iconic bison, and that the Smithsonian will soon provide two of them a home in the nation’s capital.

How does your museum interpret the mighty bison? (We’re looking at you Idaho and Oklahoma)  Tell us your stories!

 

(Footnote:  “bison” and “buffalo” are often used interchangeably.  Culturally this is correct; scientifically it is not.  Technically, bison and buffalo are not the same animal. Click here to compare their differences.)

 

buffalomeThe author is a National Outreach Manager in Smithsonian Affiliations, and a long-time buffalophile.

 

August 26, 2014

coming up in affiliateland in September 2014

Affiliates are “going back to school” with gusto this September!

VERMONT
Smithsonian Affiliations staff will participate in a ceremony with Senator Patrick Leahy to announce our new affiliation with the Sullivan Museum and History Center, the first Affiliate in Vermont, in Northfield, 9.2.

grizzly

new book by National Air and Space Museum educator

MAINE
The Abbe Museum welcomes Tim Grove, educator at the National Air and Space Museum, for a talk and signing of his new book A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History, in Bar Harbor, 9.4.

ALABAMA
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute hosts the Save Our African American Treasures program organized by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Birmingham, 9.6.

FLORIDA
Chef and expert on Native cuisine Richard Hetzler presents a lecture and cooking demonstration at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum in St. Augustine, 9.6.

The Museum of Arts and Sciences presents Septembers with the Smithsonian, which includes a public lecture by Craig Saffoe, Curator of Big Cats from the National Zoo, 9.20; and a concert and student workshops with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, in Daytona, 9.27.

The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum opens SITES Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America in Clewiston, 9.13.

TEXAS
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science hosts a workshop on Creating Collections with Young Children led by educators from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, in Dallas, 9.11-12.

George Jacob, Executive Director, Ellen Noël Art Museum (Odessa) will give a lecture on the meaning of WPA era murals as part of The Art of Tom Lea: Preserving Our National Heritage symposium hosted by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., 9.24.

visitors enjoy Ramp It Up

Ramp It Up exhibition coming to Florida

ARIZONA
The National Museum of American History collaborates with the Arizona Historical Society and the Arizona State Museum to present the Let’s Do History professional development program for teachers in Tucson, 9.20, 27.

IDAHO
The Idaho Museum of Natural History opens SITES I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story exhibition in Pocatello, 9.20.

PENNSYLVANIA
Renee Anderson, textile conservator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will spend a week at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, in dialogue with staff on conservation projects and future collaboration opportunities, in Carlisle, 9.22-26.

CALIFORNIA
The Riverside Metropolitan Museum presents Smithsonian Week in Riverside featuring talks by experts from the National Museum of the American Indian, 9.24-27.  The Museum also opens Cahuilla Continuum, an exhibition featuring three objects from the National Museum of the American Indian, in Riverside, 9.26

gems

curator Jeff Post talks gems in Illinois

NATIONWIDE
More than 75 Affiliates will participate in Smithsonian Museum Day Live!, offering free admission to their museums, 9.27. Find a list of participating Affiliates here.

ILLINOIS
The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art hosts a talk by National Museum of Natural History curator Jeff Post on A Look Inside the Smithsonian’s Gem & Mineral Collection in Elmhurst, 9.28.

PANAMA
Smithsonian Affiliations staff will attend the opening ceremonies of the new BioMuseo when it opens to the public in Panama, 9.29.

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